Water Quality and Quantity

New study shows that forest cover reduces costs for water providers. Increasing forest cover by 1 percent in the watershed decreases turbidity by about 3 percent.

“America’s Tap Water: Too Much Contamination, Not Enough Reporting, Study Finds”, New York Times 5-4-2017

“Septic Systems Contaminate Drinking Water Wells on Cape Cod”, Circle of Blue WaterNews 1-28-2016

Chapter 35.88 RCW “Water Pollution—Protection From”

RCW 70.54.010 “Polluting Water Supply – Penalty”

Everett Water System for Snohomish County, WA

Latest research shows that reverse osmosis is the best water-filtration method for
pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other contamination. An undersink RO system costs $150-350. It can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills and improve your quality of life.


Research paper: Pharmaceuticals and pesticides in reclaimed water: Efficiency assessment of a microfiltration–reverse osmosis (MF–RO) pilot plant, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 282, 1-23-2015, Pages 165–173; Advances in Analysis, Treatment Technologies, and Environmental Fate of Emerging Contaminants

4. Conclusions

The treatment efficiency of a pilot plant equipped with a MF membrane coupled to a RO membrane was preliminary evaluated as an alternative tertiary treatment of WWTP effluents regarding the removal of selected micropollutants. Elimination of most of the substances was incomplete in the previous conventional WWTP even after existing tertiary treatment based on UV irradiation.

In contrast, drastic removal of most of the compounds was achieved through the MF–RO system. All compounds were reduced to levels lower than 16 ng/L (highest value detected in RO permeate). This is especially important for the compounds that were not efficiently removed during conventional WWTP and were thereby still present at high concentrations (in the range of 162–240 ng/L) in the wastewater effluents, as it happened in the case of carbamazepine, diclofenac, atenolol, azythromycin and erythromycin. Reverse osmosis is thus a practical method to reduce concentrations of these recalcitrant compounds drastically (98–99% removal obtained). RO membranes act as a physical barrier that blocks many micropollutants as well as transformation products generated during wastewater treatment and that can also pose an environmental risk.

In addition, this physical treatment does not lead to the formation of contaminant byproducts, as in the case of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) or biological-based treatments, where these transformation products could also be of environmental concern. The most important benefit of water reuse for irrigation purposes of the Torroella WWTP effluents is that irrigation needs from the crop fields in the area, do not need to be covered by River Ter water, which is preferably devoted for the abstraction of drinking water for the city of Barcelona. This is particularly important in periods of water scarcity when the river flow is not enough to cover all the water demands. Water reuse can also help to control over-abstraction in wells, and eventually to increase water availability. Tertiary treatment based on membranes in Torroella de Montgrí pilot plant provided a safe option in order to obtain higher quality water although their use is not widespread due to their high cost in terms of energy consumption.

“Here is Your Chance to Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs”, article in Everett Herald 4-28-2016

Home test for arsenic for sale at Amazon.com $31.32

First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit,  #1 best seller at Amazon.com 1 pack $14.39

Arsenic is a mineral that is commonly found in the soils, bedrock, and groundwater in Roundup at the storeSnohomish County. Drinking well water with high levels of arsenic can impact your health. EPA states that arsenic can cause skin damage or problems with circulatory systems and may increase a risk of getting cancer.

Regular water tests are recommended for all household water systems. Owners of private wells should test their drinking water based on the following recommendations:

  • Drilled wells – 1 sample every 12 months
  • Dug wells – 1 sample every 3 months
  • Springs – 1 sample every 3 months






EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends that well water be tested every year Water and catfor total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:

  • someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
  • there are unexplained illnesses in the family
  • your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
  • you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
  • there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
  • when you replace or repair any part of your well system

Where to test your drinking water:


Am Test Lab, Kirkland WA


List to help identify potential problems:

Recurring gastro-intestinal illness Coliform bacteria
Household plumbing contains lead pH, lead, copper
Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich Radon
Corrosion of pipes, plumbing Corrosion, pH, lead
Nearby areas of intensive agriculture Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria
Coal or other mining operations nearby Metals, pH, corrosion
Gas drilling operations nearby Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium
Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals
Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks Volatile organic compounds
Objectionable taste or smell Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals
Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry Iron, copper, manganese
Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium
Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather Hardness
Rapid wear of water treatment equipment pH, corrosion
Water softener needed to treat hardness Manganese & Iron, Calcium & Iron, Silica
Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored Color, detergents

EPA’s List of Regulated Contaminants

Inorganic Contaminants

  • Antimony
  • Asbestos
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Cyanide
  • Mercury
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Selenium
  • Thallium
  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Turbidity

Volatile Organic Contaminants

  • Benzene
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Chlorobenzene
  • o-Dichlorobenzene
  • p-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethylene
  • cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
  • trans-1,2-Dicholoroethylene
  • Dichloromethane
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Styrene
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • 1,1,1,-Trichloroethane
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Toluene
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Xylenes

Synthetic Organic Contaminants, including pesticides & herbicides

  • 2,4-D
  • 2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
  • Acrylamide
  • Alachlor
  • Atrazine
  • Benzoapyrene
  • Carbofuran
  • Chlordane
  • Dalapon
  • Di 2-ethylhexyl adipate
  • Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate
  • Dibromochloropropane
  • Dinoseb
  • Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
  • Diquat
  • Endothall
  • Endrin
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Ethylene dibromide
  • Glyphosate
  • Heptachlor
  • Heptachlor epoxide
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
  • Lindane
  • Methoxychlor
  • Oxamyl [Vydate]
  • PCBs [Polychlorinated biphenyls]
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Picloram
  • Simazine
  • Toxaphene


  • Coliform bacteria
  • Fecal Coliform and E coli


  • Alpha emitters.
  • Beta/photon emitters.
  • Combined Radium 226/228.
  • Radon gas


Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these germs are killed.

  • Chlorine
  • Chloramine
  • Chlorine Dioxide
  • Ozone